Alumni

“I COULD NOT DARE TO BE ONE MORE MAN TO GIVE HER ORDERS.”
Trupal Pandya, Photography ’16, trained his lens, and his ear, on refugees in the Middle East

In January 2016, the United Nations Development Programme sent Trupal Pandya, Photography ’16, to refugee camps in Iraq to document the struggles of the thousands displaced by ISIS. Over the course of one transformative week, he took several striking portraits and listened to the refugees’ moving stories of imprisonment and abuse. Here he shares one…

THE MEDIUM IS THE MAKEUP
Roger Cabello ’85 slathers, dollops, swirls, and dabs cosmetics into abstract masterpieces

My shrink once told me, ‘I don’t know if you’re going to be a painter or a photographer,’” Roger Cabello says. “Now I make abstract paintings and photograph them.” He’s a painter, all right, but his medium is makeup. The Peruvian-born Photography grad has made a career of shooting all kinds of cosmetics—foundation, lip gloss,…

THE PATTERNS OF HISTORY
Lorraine Tanyu Weinstein, Textile/Surface Design ’04, updates tradition at Lee Jofa

Handwork meets technology in the creations of Lorraine Weinstein ’04. As senior woven stylist for Lee Jofa, a leading luxury home furnishings company founded in 1823, Weinstein translates the work of fine artists, designers, and tastemakers into wallpapers, upholstery, drapery, and carpeting. These collaborations are “very involved, a lot of sending things back and forth,”…

FATAL BEAUTY
Carnivorous plants are a seductive subject for Matthew M. Kaelin, Fine Arts ’01, Textile/Surface Design ’99

These are plants with a dark beauty—fleshy and curvaceous, with spines that snag, mouths that gape. When an unsuspecting insect alights, it’s a horror show in miniature: the plant turns deadly, trapping and slowly digesting its tiny prey. No wonder Matthew M. Kaelin ’01, a carnivorous-plant aficionado, calls them “sinister.” But dramatic descriptions aside, they’re…

DEBORAH FEINSTEIN BIGELEISEN
Textile Design ’69

Deborah Feinstein Bigeleisen became a painter in 1998 after 18 years of running a company that gave European textile designers full-time representation in the U.S. Her hyper-realistic depictions of flowers, mostly roses, gardenias, and lisianthus, are painted in her signature palette of eight colors, using the layered glazing techniques of the Dutch masters. Her particular…

GISELA O’BRIEN
Patternmaking Technology ’78

Gisela O’Brien was born in Germany; her education was interrupted by World War II. She found her way to FIT in her 40s and built a career designing children’s and women’s wear, some of which was sold at J.C. Penney. She has spent her retirement thus far making jewelry for her church bazaar and hats…

WIDE OPEN SPACES
Luis Valcarcel
Interior Design ’84

After 20-plus years designing retail spaces for Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Harrods—including a four-year stint at Nine West—Luis Valcarcel switched his focus to offices. As senior associate design director at Ted Moudis Associates (TMA), he oversees a team of interior designers who work mainly on the offices of financial companies, from big banks…